22:16 PM

TPA closes out a record Thanksgiving period serving 840,000 passengers

The Sunday after the holiday was the second-busiest day in Airport history as TPA managed more flights, more people, more luggage and more vehicles than the same period in previous years.

As expected, Tampa International Airport experienced record numbers over the busy Thanksgiving period, seeing a 6 percent increase in passengers over the same period last year. From Thursday, Nov. 16, through Sunday, Nov. 26, the Airport handled 5,844 flights – an 18 percent increase over last year’s Thanksgiving period – and served 840,000 passengers.

The Airport had its second-busiest day in history on Sunday, Nov. 26, as 89,018 passengers traveled through TPA. The busiest was on March 19, 2023 – the peak of spring break – when 90,320 passengers traveled through the Airport.

TPA also faced an issue that many other airports across the country experienced: Parking facilities that were at or near capacity at certain times, making it difficult for those who arrived without parking reservations to find a space. The Airport’s parking team worked around the clock over the holiday period to assess and manage availability in the Short Term, Long Term and Economy garages, at times directing drivers to an overflow lot near the Economy Garage.

However, despite the parking squeeze and heavier-than-normal operations, the Thanksgiving travel period was a smooth and successful one, according to TPA Executive Vice President of Operations and Guest Experience John Tiliacos.

“Thanks to robust planning, preparation and execution by our various Airport teams – as well as our TSA, FAA, CBP and concessions partners – we delivered a first-class customer experience during one of the busiest times of the year,” Tiliacos said. “Throughout the week, we did what we do best in our business – connecting hundreds of thousands of people with friends and family efficiently and, more importantly, safely.”

With the busy Christmas and New Year’s period only a few weeks away, the Airport is already preparing for another wave of high traffic and busy terminals, roadways, garages and curbs. TPA continues to urge passengers to pre-book parking online, arrive at the airport at least two hours before departure and use the Blue Express Curbs for faster drop-off and pick-up when possible.